In Bishkek, all barriers were declared to finally cancelled, which had hindered from joining railways of Kirghizia with that ones of Uzbekistan and China. This was reported to journalists by Erkinbek Masadykov, leader of general administration designing the new thoroughfare. According to him, the heads of the three countries intend to control the building of the railway. Through Kirghiz territory, 265 km of the railway will go, which will connect the north and the south and stimulate development of the remote regions. As a fact, namely around this part of the railway numerous discussions were being carried out, which hampered the start of the building. These discussions could be explained: first, with economical interests of the project’s participants. For example, Uzbek side proposed so-called “south variant”: the railway should go through completely uninhabited regions of Kirghizia. Second, according to Kirghiz variant, a high mountain ridge must be tunnelled. Though, with the help of China, Bishkek managed to defend its interests. According to the designers, the Kighiz-Uzbk-Chinese railway must be the shortest way connecting the East with the West, Asian continent which is rich of natural and people resources with developed West Europe. Though, it is more important for Central-Asian states who do not have now access to sea harbours and markets. For example, in Kirghizia, earth resources – gold, non-ferrous metals, coal – are not being used. These resources are kept in bowels of Naryn Region surrounded by mountain ridges. Moreover, exploitation of the railway could bring about 200-250 million dollars to the republic’s budget. It is also very important that Kirghiz part of the way will be provided with electric power. In addition to that economical profits, it guarantees stable consuming of Kighiz electric power. All the works are planned to be completed in three or four years. The most complicated section is intended to be 3-km tunnel in Torugart Passing. So, if everything is successful, in several years, one could with comfort travel along the old caravan path from the Pacific to Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, the speed of goods’ moving on Euroasian continent will increase several times. According to the experts, the new railway will allow to Kyrghyzstan, China, Uzbekistan, and to other states of Central Asia to develop their own infrastructure and to reach international harbours of the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. And this, in its turn, will stimulate economical development of the region.
Yury Razgulaev PRAVDA.Ru Bishkek Kirghizia
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/04/16/39796.html